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Thread: Speed Control

  1. #1

    Speed Control

    In an effort to build harmony by a bunch of folks trying to say the same thing in many threads on this forum, I think I found the right words. I was talking to GJM tonight and he brought up something that he observed shooting with Rob Leatham. He said that Rob is not wrapped up in a timer, and is not as mythological with his shooting as many of us credit him with, but that he has very much mastered the control of his speed. "Speed Control". Every bell, whistle and lightbulb went off in my head going "that's it". It is the pairing of words that works to describe what many of us having been looking for. Years ago while bickering like old women with Ken Good in epic threads (I am a vet of many an internet debate with some very smart folks), Ken and I got together in person. During our discussions about sight focus and "point shooting", etc. , we came up with "visually verified" as a term we liked to say what we were talking about. Different ranges, targets, conditions, liabilities, missions, events, etc. will all require a different kind and level of "visual verification" outside retention range. Poof, instant understanding.

    Tonight, as soon as the words "speed control" entered the conversation, it became perfect for me, and I will be using it. It takes into account a couple of things. First there is Speed. It is such a divisive word. We know we need it, we can't often explain in any kind of terms how much or little. We have tried to use things like "split times" as some sort of numerical value, that is really worthless in the big picture. The key for me was control. We all agree we need some sort of "speed" in anything we do with a handgun (thrust of this forum, but works across the board), just like we also know we must use some level of visual input. The big variables will be "control" and "verification" and how we combine them. This is going to be totally situational. A high level competitive shooter working on pre planned wide open non-moving targets will use a totally different level of both control on speed and visual verification on sights as a LEO trying to work a complex, constantly evolving hostage problem in a tight apartment with a minority bad guy in a highly litigious State (yes, those are all factors today), versus a Special Operations soldier working in total darkness on NVD's way behind enemy lines against numerous heavily armed terrorists where teams are working faster than hey can really process. Then we have a homeowner finding an intruder in their home at 3:00am. All require very different levels of "speed control" and "visual verification". Some will share similarities, but all will require a process of both.

    The two key words I like are "control" and "verification". Those are huge issues. "Speed" is something that can be technically trained to very high levels, especially when taught by experts in this area and combined with certain physical attributes. The key is how much control. I think many of us have tried to apply the controls needed for "our world" to others, and it does not compute. It is also very much in line with John Hearne's research in which people process things differently in their brains and how they control their rational and emotional responses. We have all suffered this battle. Equally, learning how to rapidly verify sights is another key and also very much based on running with emotion versus rational.

    From a training standpoint, many of us have unlocked means to get different people to be successful in there various interests into solid results. My area of interest was first a small group of part time SWAT cops who did stellar work with a training methodology stolen from another group of very successful SWAT and Crime Suppression Teams. In my research, I found others doing the same thing with the same results. I eventually taught this same based program to a mid size police department in a busy area. Shootings went way down in frequency, results went way up when they did occur. As I look back now, what we essentially unlocked was how to teach in a way that Hardwired a set of speed controls (using accuracy expectations) to the visual verification controls that were all balanced with the high levels of accountability,constant assessment of shots and the situation that is ever changing and complex, and all tied to the legal, moral, and ethical expectations in that region. It is a "proven way" (not necessarily the only one), and from a purely research perspective, once my place and the place I stole the stuff from abandoned the training for those controls and verifications, both were back to the crap that comes from non-controlled emotional shooting.

    Again, am totally good with other stuff working for other types of shooting or disciplines. Even competitively, the "speed control" and "visual verification" from USPSA to PPC to Bullseye, are totally different......yet both are required. Nobody succeeds at any of them without application of both to different degrees. The only outlier is World Fast Draw....which is really a very much physical game and the great ones are more like high level athletes in my mind.

    I will leave this for tonight to hopefully let it soak in, but I am very happy in my own mind to have found a better way to explain what we are trying to do, and how to apply it.
    Just a Hairy Special Snowflake supply clerk with no field experience, shooting an Asymetric carbine as a Try Hard. Snarky and easily butt hurt. Favorite animal is the Cape Buffalo....likely indicative of a personality disorder.
    "If I had a grandpa, he would look like Delbert Belton".

  2. #2
    Speed control comes from seeing what you need to see and not accepting shortcuts. Not accepting shortcuts is emotional control. That is the very definition of on demand performance.

  3. #3
    We are diminished
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Again, another example of how easy it is for similar concepts to appear light years apart on the internet. The term I've used since I started teaching was "visual control of the gun."

  4. #4
    Darryl, I will add two comments relative to speed control, and then I am lights out.

    First, Robbie is all about discipline. He flat out told me on day one in December, that if I wanted to become a good shooter I needed to learn shooting discipline. In Robbie world, you get that discipline by following his program of stopping the gun, aiming and working the trigger. Short cutting that process may hook up occasionally but leads to hero or zero inconsistent results.

    Second, Robbie thinks it is important to spend a significant portion of your training in an uncomfortable area where you can not guarantee the outcome. That is how you improve. However, and this is non-negotiable with TGO, you decide how you are shooting before each run not afterwards. In other words, you declare first, and then shoot accordingly. That forces discipline, with you controlling the speed dial in advance, as opposed to just deciding after. And, the way he has you pushing your envelope, is still adhering to stop, aim, jerk, but experimenting with how much you can shave from each step.
    Likes pretty much everything in every caliber.

  5. #5
    It is funny how we use different means to ends. My motivation for discipline....."if you want to keep your job, doing well at this just became a priority"....we have different students

    On the "uncomfortable area". We use the same process but different application as the goals for a shooter with us versus with Robbie. As an example, we use the two second standards to let students push to fail, then we dial them back to barely make it, then we dial them to guaranteed to succeed......and that is where we want to build a over-learned response from. Can that get faster with a shooter who trains more,of course. Would it get dialed back for a student who takes a year off...of course. The key is that for us, we want to use some very limited resources to work to set their "auto-pilot" and front loaded response. To use our aviation analogies.....I don't think pilots set their auto pilot to work at absolute max performance levels, or in this case, to run in the red. Should a highly motivated pilot work some time at the edge, sure. I just don't want the guy flying the jet I am on to run that on my trip (although I have been on some flights where the landing felt like a carrier landing ).
    Just a Hairy Special Snowflake supply clerk with no field experience, shooting an Asymetric carbine as a Try Hard. Snarky and easily butt hurt. Favorite animal is the Cape Buffalo....likely indicative of a personality disorder.
    "If I had a grandpa, he would look like Delbert Belton".

  6. #6
    Site Supporter
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    Oct 2014
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    Savannah, GA
    Competitive shooters like to call it visual patience. I.e. see what you need to see, and don't press the trigger until you see it...BUT don't waste your time seeing more than you need to see, because that's slow and unproductive.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by givo08 View Post
    Competitive shooters like to call it visual patience. I.e. see what you need to see, and don't press the trigger until you see it...BUT don't waste your time seeing more than you need to see, because that's slow and unproductive.
    This is where the huge disconnect usually occurs between the competitive sports and street use......when there really does need to be. It is what I like about Speed Control. You have to see FAR more on a street shooting before you get to start the "surprise match". You need to see more on the street, but what many miss is then it does get to be sort of like the competitive side where you have to stop seeing more than you need to see. It is just a difference in a lot of focus changes and situational assessments. Essentially, a bunch of the same stuff, with different priorities and placement of the priorities. The biggest key is to get folks to maintain top level shooter emotional control and discipline on a street chaos problem. It can be done, but it takes work to put the shooting into the subconscious on one side as the priority is on problem solving. The other side needs to use discipline and control to stick with and execute "the plan". Both are hard if we let emotion control the speed.
    Just a Hairy Special Snowflake supply clerk with no field experience, shooting an Asymetric carbine as a Try Hard. Snarky and easily butt hurt. Favorite animal is the Cape Buffalo....likely indicative of a personality disorder.
    "If I had a grandpa, he would look like Delbert Belton".

  8. #8
    Site Supporter MGW's Avatar
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    Kansas
    This is probably the most fascinating seven post thread I have ever read. Lightbulbs went off everywhere. There is a lot here for me to think about. Thanks for sharing this all.
    “If you know the way broadly you will see it in everything." - Miyamoto Musashi

  9. #9
    Very Pro Dentist Chuck Haggard's Avatar
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    I have had a chance to run really fast competition guys through problems they didn't get to game ahead of time, shoot houses, Sims, etc. I note they slow way down in how they run things when they don't get a chance to pre-plan the event.

    In something like USPSA one gets to do a lot of the processing ahead of time, this of course speeds up the process once shooting starts. One would be a bad ass gunfighter if one knew ahead of time that Mr. Bad Guy was going to do X,Y,Z two minutes from now.

    I like where this is going.
    I am the owner of Agile/Training and Consulting
    www.agiletactical.com

  10. #10
    Site Supporter John Hearne's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    Northern Mississippi
    We've said it before and I'll say it again. The speed that you can shoot is limited by the speed that you can form decisions via proper analysis. It is possible for the well-developed shooter to be able to shoot faster than one may need to properly analyze the situation.

    I remember in my Uncle Scotty class, he related their experiences bringing outside, competition based instructors in to teach. When the high-speed guy was taken to the door of the shoot house - they'd ask questions like: how many bad guys? how many good guys? etc. They'd respond - we don't know. Once the high-speed guys had to run the full analysis process they were no faster than the SWAT guys who shot "slower."

    Years ago, we ran an IDPA scenario in which you started with your back turned to four targets. One of the targets was a no-shoot and it was randomly changed with each shooter running the stage three times. Suddenly, the performance difference between the good shooters and the bad shooters really became less pronounced. The faster shooting guys were still faster but the difference was markedly reduced.

    I'm not saying not to continually refine your motor skills. The brain loves recency when it comes to picking which motor program to run. But, the longer I study this stuff, the more I believe that you reach a point of diminishing returns more quickly with speed than accuracy.
    • It's not the odds, it's the stakes.
    • If you aren't dry practicing every week, you're not serious.....
    • "Tache-Psyche Effect - a polite way of saying 'You suck.' " - GG

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